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Sony sued for limiting purchases of games to PlayStation store

Sony’s January-March profit zoomed eight-fold to 107 billion yen ($982 million) as people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s video games and other visual content. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Sony’s January-March profit zoomed eight-fold to 107 billion yen ($982 million) as people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s video games and other visual content. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) (AP)

In a proposed class action suit, the gamers said Sony stopped allowing third-party retailers -- including Amazon.com Inc., Best Buy Co. and Walmart Inc. -- to sell download codes for PlayStation games two years ago.

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC is operating an unlawful monopoly by restricting purchases of PlayStation games to its inhouse store, consumers claimed in a lawsuit.

As a result, Sony’s PlayStation Store became the only source for digital PlayStation games, the consumers said.

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“Sony’s monopoly allows it to charge supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are significantly higher than their physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market, and significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games,” the consumers said.

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People end up paying as much as 175% more for downloadable games than the same ones on disk, according to the suit.

Sony didn’t return a request for comment after hours Wednesday.

The case is Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, 3:21-cv-03361, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

By Robert Burnson

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